MANILA, Philippines - San Sebastian tries to get back at Mapua and keep its hold of the second spot while Letran seeks to stay in the semis hunt against St. Benilde in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan today.
The Stags have won three straight since Allan Trinidad took over as interim coach vice Topex Robinson with the Recoletos-based cagers showing no sign of slowing down in their bid to re-claim the No. 1 spot from archrivals the San Beda Red Lions.
San Beda continued to lord it over the 10-team field with an 11-2 slate with SSC just behind at 10-3 heading to the last two weeks of the double round elims.
The Stags trounced the Blazers, 92-72, last week with Calvin Abueva churning out another triple-double effort upon his return from a one-game suspension.
That makes them the heavy favorites against the Cardinals in the 4 p.m. encounter although the latter enjoy some psychological edge after beating the former, 61-54, in the first round.
Still, Mapua will be hard-pressed to pile up victories in its last five games in its desperate drive to get into Final Four mix.
The Cardinals are in joint sixth with the Arellano U Chiefs at 5-8.
Meanwhile, Letran, currently at No. 5 with a 7-6 mark, hopes to get past St. Benilde in the 6 p.m. main game as it tries to move closer to Perpetual Help and Jose Rizal, both at No. 3 with an 8-5 record each.
The Knights have won three of their last four games.